Is believing a choice?
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26-01-2013, 04:17 AM
RE: Is believing a choice?
Well, here you go. *lol*




"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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26-01-2013, 12:18 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
Okay, Mr. Bear, now I'm more confused. hahahahah Very interesting video and I really like the guy's socks!
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26-01-2013, 02:04 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
I see no problem in believing in a possible supernatural force.
I do not need proof to contemplate potentiality.
True, how the world is, suffering of man and beast, does not suggest any loving God.
WE witness good and evil in the secular world. Why not good and evil, at more evolved
levels, cosmicallly? As for us being part of this, in some way, is yet another difficult question.
Sorry I can't re assure you more..... Wink
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26-01-2013, 04:24 PM (This post was last modified: 27-01-2013 04:29 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Is believing a choice?
For King'sChosen believing is not a choice. Similarly for GirlyMan, believing is also not an option.

Breathing - it's more art than science.
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26-01-2013, 11:09 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
(26-01-2013 12:18 PM)julie Wrote:  Okay, Mr. Bear, now I'm more confused. hahahahah Very interesting video and I really like the guy's socks!
So am I.

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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26-01-2013, 11:16 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
Interesting...is believing a choice...hmmm.

Even at a young age, I didn't buy a lot of the stuff I was being taught and told but I didn't think there was an option but to 'play along'. Even when I was older and away from the Catholic church, I thought I had to have a religious affiliation. I studied and read and really tried to find a flavor that worked for me.

Then it dawned on me that I don't believe it, can't find a reason too, so I stopped searching.

If it's all so real...why would I need to search so hard? Wouldn't it be a bit more obvious?

My choice was to stop believing that belief is necessary.

See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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27-01-2013, 12:24 AM
RE: Is believing a choice?
*lol* Okay. Lemme explain. And since I don't fully understand it myself, I don't think I'm the best candidate to argue this point.

I don't think our beliefs are an active choice that we continuously make, but are the results of myriads of different causes due to past experience. That's not to say that these didn't result from choices and changes that we made, but these choices, too, were the product of causality.

And I don't think that it's fatalistic to say so. We can actively influence the direction of our life, but we can only work with the tools we've been given or picked up along the way.

Going back to what I said at the top and the video I posted, there are brilliant people analyzing our brains and coming up with excellent results about why we choose to do what we choose to do. If you're interested in freewill, there's loads of scientific data and philosophical discussion that address the issues that arise.

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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27-01-2013, 12:58 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
There's several ways of looking at this.

For those who were indoctrinated since birth, there is no choice in the matter (I'd say 99% of the time). I was one of those. I recall growing up always as a family going to church, being taught bible lessons and being isolated from things that contradicted our beliefs. I was sent to a Christian school one time and spent years recovering later from the pseudoscience and bullshit they taught me.

I do not recall seriously doubting my beliefs until I was out on my own. I was given the swift boot and told they couldn't afford me for much longer and promptly moved out, found a job and rented a shitty small apartment.

It was through those years I spent REALLY finding myself. I stopped going to church because I always hated it and then slowly started really adopting my own views on life. During the time I was with my parents in my teenage years though I only recall PIECES of things I doubted. (Such as creation vs the big bang and eventually evolution) but it didn't specifically "stray" me from my beliefs of the time.

It took me years to finally make my OWN choice when I looked skeptically at it all. Hence I'm here now.

I think though that for those who did NOT grow up indoctrinated then it would be a choice. Although once you start the process of indoctrination it's a mind game and I don't think there is nearly as much "choice" after a while. You're told you'll burn in hell, be tormented and never ever to doubt because it's the most horrendous thing to do. You provide yourself with any confirmation bias possible, you find some infallible crevasse for the deity to exist in as to completely negate any possibility to get rid of it and you constantly are battling cognitive dissonance.

I find it interesting now when I looked at all the things people disagreed with on my YEC view, and later even on my "old earth creation" view and it was just ridiculous for me to fathom how people "could not see it my way" since it was after all... the "only way"...

Indoctrination is a crazy thing. I think it may be harder for others to consider just how strong it is if you have never been a theist and how ridiculous the effects are.
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27-01-2013, 01:58 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
(25-01-2013 05:36 PM)julie Wrote:  Thank you all for all the information. Having not been raised with any religion so to speak I am amazed at what I'm finding out on The Thinking Atheist podcast and Dogma Debate, etc. I'm grateful every day I was raised the way I was.
I was raised in the same kind of lifestyle, where I was allowed to explore and learn and make my own decisions on the matter.

While I had the choice I also don't think I ever really did (if that makes sense) here is what I mean...


I tried being a christian, I tried being a wiccan, but I never really bought into it. Because I could never -really- bring myself to believe any of that crap was possible. I felt like I was playing in a make believe world and as a result, I felt pretty foolish. (and that's saying a lot, coming from a person who claims to be a hobbit)

I especially didn't like what christianity was making me do while being in their pretend little world. I was led to believe different kinds of people were inferior, etc (you all know the story)

So finally at the end of the day I dropped it all and went with my gut. (That being there is no god/s and that we are in this on our own together). I feel much more fulfilled as a person.

I hope that made sense. lol

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." Soren Kierkegaard
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27-01-2013, 04:35 PM
RE: Is believing a choice?
I agree with SingingBear. I think there are many/infinite paths you could theoretically choose, but there are factors and influences pushing you toward certain ones more than others (large ones include your parents, where and when you were born, etc.). People can change these and choose something else, but to me, it seems clear that it's not usually a conscious choice just by looking at the world around me. If people actively chose, why would most people follow their parents' religion, or the ones common to the place they were born? For indoctrinated people, I'd say "not really."

Society and authority figures tell them since birth that their religion is true, so they are pushed toward it. They are pushed away from other religions and nonbelief because they are told this is bad, will send them to hell, they'll be shunned, whatever. I think for many people I know, ones who don't seem too caught up in religion on a day to day basis, it's a social thing. Peer pressure keeps them from seriously questioning, and they value what their [religious] neighbors think of them more than they value a search for objective truth/reality. (Not always the case, but I think it's common. I'd put my mom in this category.)

And I'm not looking down on them for the peer pressure thing, if it sounds that way. It was evolutionarily beneficial to stay part of the group and believe as the group believes. It's just not critical to your survival (usually) these days. It's kind of like them having a vestigial tail or something, a remnant of something not useful anymore.
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